Thursday, June 18, 2009

Museum Explorers

by Sarah Crocker

It's been difficult to pursue my interest in studying a guest's experience at the exhibition.  Visitor traffic has been low here, which is certainly expected for summer, but definitely not what I was hoping for.  There have been a few guests, but whenever they've been here, I've been working on something and couldn't talk to them, or I've been back in the collections vault with the other volunteers and interns.  I did get to talk to Shannon about my ideas for a bit, and she confirmed a lot of my expectations – some of the people who visit are eager to ask questions and talk with staff, but most are content to quietly explore the museum on their own. 

My guess is that a lot of the people who visit the museum come here with a sort of pre-loaded mindset: they expect to come into a hushed environment, walk around, look at a few static pieces of artwork, and then leave.  An exhibition like Museum at Work certainly deviates from this expectation, with its capacity for interaction and questioning.  Of course, talking to workers in the museum is difficult when they are, well, working.  This is a rather significant roadblock.  Lots more to think about....

Otherwise, Enaam and I have been working on redesigning the blog and making it a little more user-friendly.  To be fair, the great majority of the credit belongs to Enaam, who has the actual design know-how to make this work, while my contributions have been more along the lines of “look at all the pretty colors!”  Despite my lack of knowledge, it's been a ton of fun coming up with a design and I'm really excited about the new look.  Hopefully we'll be able to work all of the kinks out and get it launched sometime soon!

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